Blue Bell, the ice creamery that recently suffered a listeria outbreak that led to the deaths of three people and illnesses across several states — and forced the company to recall its entire product line — has announced plans for a huge round of layoffs.
Due to what must have been a considerable financial loss resulting from a number of recalls — not to mention the change in public opinion after it was revealed that the company had more than likely known about the presence of listeria since 2013 — Blue Bell has announced that it will terminate approximately 750 full-time employees and 700 part-time employees.
Additionally, the company will put approximately 1,400 employees on furlough, or temporary leaves of absence.
In the next several months, the company will need to drastically improve its sanitation regulations, upgrade its facilities, and rigorously test its products.
“The agonizing decision to lay off hundreds of our great workers and reduce hours and pay for others was the most difficult one I have had to make in my time as Blue Bell's CEO and president,” Paul Kruse announced in a statement. “At Blue Bell, our employees are part of our family, and we did everything we could to keep people on our payroll for as long as possible. At the same time, we have an obligation to do what is necessary to bring Blue Bell back and ensure its viability in the future. This is a sad day for all of us at Blue Bell, and for me personally.”